It has become a major health concern in recent years, with the occurrence of vitamin D deficiencies slowly on the rise. In fact, almost half (41.6 percent) of the U.S. population is deficient in this crucial vitamin according to data from 2005-2006 (1).
Considering we rely very heavily on the sun’s UV light to manufacture vitamin D, winter months can make it even more difficult to meet requirements. But research shows that mushrooms can actually do it for you…extremely well.
Mushrooms Produce Vitamin D
Much like humans, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight (or another source of UV light). Their natural ergosterol gets converted to ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), which human bodies can use.
A 2015 analysis of mushrooms from five cities showed that store-bought mushrooms contain on average 2.3 mcg of vitamin D per 100 grams (about 3-4 mushrooms), which is 23 percent of your daily needs. However, this number can be greatly increased when they get some sun.
A study by the University of Sydney found that mushrooms left in the midday sun for about one hour produced roughly 10 mcg of vitamin D per 100 gram serve. Another found that a short burst of UV-B rays increased vitamin D2 levels to 17.6 mcg per 100 grams, equal to levels found in other food sources of vitamin D, like fatty fish (2, 3).
Considering our daily requirements are 5-15 mcg (depending on age), this is significant dose of the sunshine vitamin.
Of course you should not replace vitamin D supplements with natural alternatives without first consulting your doctor, but mushrooms are a great way to boost your levels naturally.
How To Prepare Them
Simply allow your mushrooms to sunbathe outside or on an open windowsill for 1-2 hours to create your own natural vitamin D “supplement”… one that actually tastes good too.
As though you needed any additional reasons to eat more mushrooms.